DULUTH, Minn. (KMSP) - Crews in Duluth are being credited with saving 35 fishermen Saturday morning after they were stranded on ice.
According to Duluth Police, the fishermen were stranded on ice on Bay Side of Park Point after strong winds created a crack in the ice.
Using a ladder, three Rapid Deployment Craft and a boat from the area between the Duluth Rowing Club and the Duluth Airport, the fishermen were rescued. One fisherman entered the water, but made it ashore on his own.
"People were anticipating 4-5 inches of ice and that was true," said Rory Strange, a Park Point resident. "What they didn't factor in was the wind that was coming off the lake."
Strange also noted that locals in the area knew the winds would be a factor.
"It can happen so fast and people that have lived down here for years kind of expected it," he said. Once they heard what was going to be happening with the wind, they really expected it and I think that's why the response was so quick."
"There was probably 200 feet of ice and then there was a 50-foot crack and then they were out on the ice beyond that," said Acting Asst. Chief Mark Herman of the Duluth Fire Department.
While nobody was hurt in the incident, Herman says it should serve as a reminder to always check conditions and weather before heading out.
"We have sportsmen, we have people that enjoy the outdoors, love the outdoors up here," he said. "That's why we live here, but when the weather changes we have to be prepared for it. We have to be dressed for it and we have to know that the lake could open like you see behind me here."
The Coast Guard, St. Louis County Rescue, the Minnesota DNR, Gold Cross Ambulance, Duluth Fire, University of Minnesota-Duluth, Lincoln Park and Spirit Valley crews are all being credited in the rescue.